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Gloucestershire Business News

Plant-based food and farming take centre stage at conference on climate change

Policy makers, academics, growers and farmers will gather at a two-day online conference next month to discuss climate-friendly food and farming.

Grow Green - Food and Farming systems for a Climate-friendly Future will see numerous experts in the field, including Nick Jacobs, director of IPES-Foods and Dr Helen Harwatt, senior research fellow at Chatham House, sharing the latest science on the benefits of transitioning towards plant-based agriculture. Delegates will also hear from MEPs including Tilly Metz, Eleanora Evi and Francisco Guerreiro, and first-hand success stories from organic growers and farmers across Europe.

The conference on 1st and 2nd June builds on the success of The Vegan Society's 2019 Grow Green conference in the UK. It will discuss policies which can accelerate a transition to sustainable plant-based farming and highlight plant-based organic farming as a key solution for Europe's food system.

Louise Davies, CEO of The Vegan Society, which is sponsoring the conference, said: "A transition to sustainable agriculture and food production is desperately needed in response to the current environmental and climate crisis, and a shift away from animal agriculture towards plant-based farming is an important part of the solution. We're delighted to be supporting this hugely important event and hope the science and evidence will be heard with an open mind by European decision makers."

Research from the University of Oxford has concluded that moving from current diets to those that exclude animal products globally would reduce food's land use by a massive 76 per cent, cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 49 per cent, and reduce the use of fresh water, pesticides and fertilisers. But this transition cannot be achieved without wide-reaching changes in farming practices and policy. Improvements in growing methods are also essential to prevent the depletion of soils, halt declines in plant and animal life, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from current farming systems.

To explore the solutions to these issues, the conference will be attended by MEPs, European Union government and Institution representatives, think tanks and NGOs, agricultural organisations, farmers, food industry representatives and more.

Speakers will highlight the role of food and farming in tackling the climate crisis and propose interventions in European agriculture policy to support a shift to plant-based farming through talks and panel debates. The conference will also share the knowledge and best practice gathered by organic farming pioneers and researchers across Europe, showcasing the economic, practical and climate benefits of this innovative approach to food production.

The conference is sponsored by The Vegan Society's Grow Green campaign and has been organised by Safe Food Advocacy Europe (SAFE) and its partners, it is also supported by the Life Programme of the European Commission.

Registration for the online conference is free at www.growgreenconference.com 

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